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Cabin cross check: Safety criteria for aviation’s market-based measure


Aviation accounts for approximately 4.9% of all global warming1 and is projected to grow by up to 300% by 2050 if left unaddressed. In order to limit the global average temperature rise to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels, international aviation must contribute to the global effort to reduce emissions. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the international body responsible for regulating international aviation, agreed to an aspirational goal of carbon-neutral growth from 2020 levels (CNG 2020) in 2010.

Main imperatives:

  • Recognize the need to limit global average temperature rise to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels in line with the Paris Agreement
  • Set the 2020 climate neutral goal as a legally binding floor for the entire sector as a whole, with reviews every 3 years to rapidly and substantially increase ambition over time
  • Ensure environmental and social integrity of carbon credits used for compliance in the GMBM, mandate strict MRV, and prevent double counting so as to not compromise efforts
  • Consult relevant stakeholders while fostering transparency through public access to information

Aviation should work towards this goal with a basket of measures, such as operational improvements and sustainable, alternative fuels. The bulk of the emissions growth through 2040, up to 7.8 billion tonnes of GHG, is to be addressed by a global market-based measure (GMBM) to be adopted at the 39th triennial assembly in October 2016. Because the GMBM is the main element in the basket in the short to medium term, its effective design is critical to address emission reductions successfully in the aviation sector. This policy briefing outlines criteria for an effective and credible GMBM and how such a measure should be designed to effectively address aviation’s contribution to climate change and enhance ambition.

Read the full Policy Brief here

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